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Antidepressants linked to lower suicide risk among 75+ in residential care

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Low risk of suicide has been found in 75+-year-olds living in long-term care facilities who are prescribed antidepressants. The risk of suicide doubles among those taking medication for sleep disorders according to a study published in the Journal International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

Despite the increase in the number of seniors in need long-term care and who often faces drastic changes in life and mental illness that increase the risk of self-harm, less research focuses on suicide in this area.

Antidepressants are widely used in care settings for the elderly and concerns have been expressed about the potential suicidogenic effects of these drugs. Sahlgrenska Study of Suicide, a research group in the AgeCap, Center for Aging and Health at the University of Gothenburg, conducted a large national study to investigate the use of psychoactive drugs. risk of suicide adventure in great wine stay in it long-term care facilities.

Antidepressants seem to be safe

The study linked the national population register and included a group of over 280,000 Swedish residents aged 75 and over who live in long-term care and follow up to nine years.

During that time, 110 people (64 men and 46 women) died by suicide. Half of these deaths occurred in the first year of its existence. The risk of suicide is lower in long-term care residents who are in it antidepressants.

“This results show a positive effect of anti-anxiety treatment in the elderly who live longer care facilitiesbut more research is needed to improve this team, “said Dr. Khedidja Hedna, author and co-author.

Early detection and effective care

The risk of suicide is double that of those taking medication for sleep disorders, and fifteen times that of those who have had cancer in the past. The study highlights the need for long-term care staff to know residents’ history to improve early detection and to better monitor the mental health of people in need of additional support.

“Our research provides an impetus to improve the quality of care provided to the elderly in long-term care. More work can be done to improve the mental health of elderly caregivers,” said Professor Margda Waern, who led the study. .


The risk of suicide is highest among older immigrants who are neglected


Learn more:
Khedidja Hedna et al, Psychoactive drug use and risk of suicide in long-term care residents, International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry (2022). DOI: 10.1002 / gps.5684

hint: Antidepressants are associated with a lower risk of suicide among 75+ in resident care (2022, March 31) Retrieved 31 March 2022 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-03-antidepressants-linked-suicide -residential.html

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